Imagine doing something dumb but relatively harmless in your youth.

Maybe stealing a T-shirt or smoking marijuana with a friend.

Instead of a reprimand and a way to make things right, you're thrown into jail at 15 years old to await your trial. Maybe if you're from a lower socioeconomic family in a larger city like New York or Los Angeles — where bail can run $2,000-$5,000 or more — neither you nor any close family members can afford to make bail.

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Theresa was arrested in April, and without the $5,000 she needed to post bail, she couldn't leave the holding facility in Estrella, Arizona, until after her trial.

Theresa (whose last name is not being published to protect her privacy ahead of her trial) was nine months' pregnant with her third child when she was arrested. Instead of being surrounded by family and friends, she gave birth in jail, and her child was immediately taken by the department of child safety.

Even though Theresa hadn't been convicted of a crime, she was held in jail until May, when her friend came to take her home before Mother's Day. She was speechless.

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Alejandro Rodriguez has lived in the United States. since he was 1 year old. He’s a father now, and until recently, worked as a dental assistant. So why — after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor more than 15 years ago — did it take three years for him to get a bond hearing?

That’s right: Rodriguez wasn’t serving a 3-year sentence. He was simply waiting to see a judge to find out what his bail might be.

Even more suprising? The Supreme Court declared last week that this treatment of him was all perfectly legal.

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Why a criminal history shouldn't stop students from getting their life back on track.

Everyone deserves a fair shot at getting on the right track.

Keri Blakinger is a felon. She's also an Ivy League graduate.

After graduating from Cornell University in 2014, Blakinger found a good job and moved on with her life. But she watched too many women she spent time with behind bars — women who were equally motivated to put their pasts behind them — struggle to find their footing after prison.

"I was incredibly lucky," Blakinger, who was convicted of a drug-related crime in 2010, wrote in The Washington Post last year.

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